A photo from a local waitress showing the obnoxious "tip" she received recently is going viral.

Wait until you see her response!

The waitress, Jess Jones, tells me she works at "a very popular bar and grill in Belmar."

On Monday, August 17th, a family of eight were seated in her section. They were billed $112.03 for their meal.

What they left on the tip line after? "LOL. 1 hour for food."

Jess* via Facebook

Here's the problem: waitstaff and bartenders in NJ are paid $2.50/hr, the majority of which goes to taxes, generally leaving them with just a dollar or two in a paycheck. I speak from experience when I say their only real money comes from tips.

In her original post, which has been shared more than 2000 times, Jess admits that they did have to wait a while for their food, but explains, "Even though they did wait an hour to eat, they remained satisfied with filled drinks and proper notice that the kitchen was a bit busier than normal. I've worked in the service industry for five years and I take pride in providing great service to my customers."

So, in this instance, the situation was out of the waiter's control. If the kitchen is backed up, that is not the waitstaff's fault, and they shouldn't be punished with a lesser tip, if they are still doing everything within their power to keep you satisfied. (At that point, you should complain to a manager, who might actually be able to correct the problem.)

In a follow-up to me, she adds, "Our restaurant is always busy on Monday nights because we do a special half price menu, and even after this family's bill was reduced by 50%, they still left a disrespectful tip." She also notes, "They were unfriendly towards me from the first moment I greeted them."

She's not looking to shame, embarrass, or identify this group though, and in her original post, she wrote:

My experience with this table was cruel and unnecessary but sadly it's not uncommon. With that said: Please be good to your waiters. I know it's annoying when things aren't right. I know how aggravating it is to receive a hefty bill when all night you've been wondering why the table that came in after you was served before you. But waiters are mere messengers most of the time, and it's wrong to shoot them, however bad the news."

She also tells me, "I'm not here seeking any kind of revenge on this specific family. I am trying to stand up for all of us who work for just a few dollars an hour. It’s incredibly difficult to fake smile in these situations and be polite to patronizing customers who treat their servers like actual servants instead of human beings."

She's being much more diplomatic than she needs to be. Plain and simple, if you stiff a waiter or waitress for something like this, you're a douche. If your server is truly terrible, ignores your table, treats you poorly, and makes no attempt to correct any problem, I might *maybe* understand not leaving anything -- though I generally give 10% for honestly bad service, and even then I feel guilty about it.

However, if you're just a cheap jerk who likes to complain and doesn't want to pay, you shouldn't go to restaurants. Be nice to your waitstaff: they aren't beneath you, no matter how big your superiority complex.

Last night, I was stunned by this receipt that was left for me by a party of eight people. I would have preferred a "$0"...

Posted by Jess Jones on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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